would a liberal supreme court be authoritarian in its own way?

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lets go brezhnev:
I'm sort of politically bipolar. I dislike the conservatives on the supreme court because I see them as vestiges of another era. Like I had always viewed conservatives (especially legal conservatives) as the personification of someone like Greg Marmalard or Doug Neidermeyer in animal house. That and the left as represented by Bluto and his guys.

When the left finally does get a majority on the supreme court (which could presumably happen in the 30s or 40s) - there is a kind of "be careful what you wish for" aspect to it. Because I feel the legal left is no longer the same left as that of the three Williams (Douglas Kunstler and Brennan).

All the stuff over the past few years has me realizing that the left, especially when acting in concert with the media and corporations, has a propensity for totalitarianism. Even with the court we have now, we have a lot of tyranny that I find disturbing:

- the blurring of the lines between public and private.
- big tech censorship
- cities like San Francisco considering something like reparations
- social media and the media in general using moral panics to bankrupt people
- financial censorship (i.e. debanking people)
- ESG and other kinds of corporate totalitarianism

If we did have a liberal court, the above factors could be worse.

Baerbock 2025:
The last time liberals had a SCOTUS majority equivalent to the current conservative one, established Miranda rights, protected abortion rights, ended school prayer, and banned segregation.

Mr. Smith:
Would this be a bad thing?

lets go brezhnev:
Quote from: Mr. Smith on January 20, 2023, 09:52:04 PM

Would this be a bad thing?

giving the greenlight to hate speech laws would be bad because it would be bad and often selectively enforced.

If we were to assume that a new liberal majority on the Court would be made up of liberals who were very much like most of the liberals who have served on the Court in the last 70 years, then yes, I think the Court would become quite authoritarian. I have no reason to think that today's liberals are any less liberal than what you call "the three Williams (Douglas, Kunstler, and Brennan)." I think that today's Sotomayor, Kagan, and Brown Jackson could readily be joined by new clones of Douglas, Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall, and they would rambunctiously implement a sweeping package of reforms imposing economic egalitarianism across the country.

I can foresee that a new liberal majority would:
 - Overturn San Antonio Ind. School Dist. v. Rodriguez, 411 U.S. 1 (1973), thus requiring that per capita spending per pupil in K-12 education must be uniform across all school districts within each state
 - Permanently end the death penalty
 - Overturn Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), thus allowing Congress and the states to violate the quantity of political speech
 - Declare that any and all "discrimination" against "the poor" must be subjected to strict scrutiny, like William O. Douglas wanted to do during his time on the Court:

Douglas saw nothing unusual about applying the "equal protection of the law" clause to preclude discrimination in legal affairs or the enjoyment of other rights where deprivations were based on no other reason than poverty. Thus he argued in a concurring opinion that Connecticut violated equal protection by requiring all applicants for divorce to pay filing fees regardless of their financial status. To deny poor people the opportunity for a divorce simply because of their poverty was not equal protection of the law.
Douglas dissented ... when a 5 to 4 Court later upheld a requirement that all persons applying for bankruptcy pay a filing fee. For similar reasons, Douglas protested when another sharply divided Court upheld an Oregon filing-fee requirement for appellate review in a case involving a dispute with the state's Public Welfare Division. He asserted that the Court had supported "a scheme of judicial review whereby justice remains a luxury for the wealthy." (Ortwein v. Schwab, 410 U.S. 656 (1973), Douglas, dissenting.)(Entire quotation from Of Power and Right, by Howard Ball and Phillip J. Cooper, published 1992.)

On the other hand, if all modern liberals who served on the Court were clones of Hugo Black, then no, they would not be noticeably authoritarian.

Quote from: Mr. Smith on January 20, 2023, 09:52:04 PM

Would this be a bad thing?

That depends on your judicial philosophy. If you're result-oriented and merely want the courts to implement liberal policies all the time, in every case they hear, regardless of whether or not the results were plausibly based on what lawmakers wanted their laws to mean, then it's fine. But you would not be interested in the concept of objectivity in matters of legal reasoning if that were what you wanted. Other than Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter, most Supreme Court Justices of the last 70 years have not been interested in objectivity. Regardless of whether they're conservative, liberal, or moderate, most Justices have been - consciously or unconsciously - giving in to the temptation to utilize their own values to decide what to do with most cases on the Court's docket. If you lean to the left, you will think this is FINE for all of the Justices to do (so long as they're not conservative - like Scalia and Thomas).


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